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UPSC Current Affairs – 25-05-2019

In news:

  • NASA’s unveils schedule for Artemis mission to return astronauts to the lunar surface by 2024, including the first woman to the Moon’s South Pole, where no human has ever been before.
  •  It includes eight scheduled launches and a mini-station in lunar orbit by 2024.

Mission Schedule:

  • Artemis 1: an uncrewed mission around the Moon planned for 2020.
  •  Artemis 2: will orbit Earth’s satellite with a crew around 2022
  •  Artemis 3: will put astronauts on lunar soil in 2024, including the first woman.
  •  In addition to these missions, there will be five launches carrying the building blocks of the lunar mini-station “Gateway” which will serve as a staging point for the Moon landing.
  •  These will be carried out between 2022 and 2024 by private space companies

Current issues in the Mission:

  • NASA’s rocket to launch people to the moon, the Space Launch System, or SLS isn’t finished and won’t be tested until at least 2020, perhaps later.
  •  The SLS has been under development since 2011, and the first of them were originally planned to be tested in 2017.
  • When complete, the SLS will be the largest, most powerful rocket ever built.
  •  NASA’s space capsule for the journey to the Earth to the moon called Orion also isn’t complete.
  •  The Orion is a multipurpose vehicle to sit atop the SLS that will serve as the crew quarters for missions beyond low Earth orbit (i.e. beyond the International Space station). It’s designed to
    accommodate four astronauts.

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